How many of you- or your clients- struggle to get out of the chair?
Potentially millions of disabled and elderly people find this simple task difficult. It affects anyone who has sit-to-stand issues. It’s a problem they’ll happily talk about. And it’s a market that is growing.
But is there the same openness about getting on and off the toilet?
We go to the toilet on average eight times a day, so it is a real problem. It affects potentially millions of people, not just the ¼million who suffer from muscular specific conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis, Muscular Dystrophy.
It goes beyond the simple practicality of getting on and off. Research indicates 20% of falls/injuries happen using the WC(1). Falls are among the top 10 causes of disability adjusted life years. Falls cost the NHS over £2bn a year and over 4 million bed days(2). They are also the #1 factor for a person losing independence and going into long term care.
Yet technology exists to help address getting on and off the toilet safely- and independently. It varies from something as simple as a grab rail, or any fixture to lean on, to more advanced equipment such as a toilet lifter or even a height-adjustable WC.
Even the most expensive solution is still a minute % of the cost of someone having to receive care support for even a few months as they rehabilitate from a fall getting on or off the toilet. And it could have prevented them falling, and needing hospital care, in the first place.
So next time you or a client struggle to get out of the chair, take a moment to think about how that simple action impacts across other areas of daily life.
As the adage goes, prevention is better than cure.
(1) Center for Disease Control & Prevention
(2) Public health matters: the human cost of falls